Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anna is 3!

It is hard to believe that our little baby girl is now 3! Anna has brought so much joy into our family, she is sweet, silly, smart and sassy all rolled into one. Here are some pictures from her birthday party, she looks so grown up to me!

Anna's gaga (Grandma) came to town to help us celebrate with a cupcake themed birthday party along with some of the neighborhood girls who love to play with her. She had a great time playing the games, decorating her own cupcake and of course the presents!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Amy's Birthday

For my birthday this week Ryan surprised me with a sunrise hot air balloon ride! I thought I would be terrified but it was so peaceful and gorgeous with the crisp autumn air, the beautiful changing leaves and rolling green hills that I forgot to be scared! It was a great way to spend the morning and to see the view around our house from the sky!

>My mom flew into town this week to be at the boys school for Grandparents day and to be here for for my birthday. It is a special treat for us when we have family in town, we all love having her!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

FUN, FUN, BUSY Summer!!

We were so busy having fun this Summer, there was no time left to blog! Now that the boys are back in school (sigh) I will share what we did in pictures since there is too much to tell in just one post!

Here is a run-down of our time since May:

* My good friend Cammie and her son (Bradey's best buddy) flew in to visit us from WA

* Our family spent a week in Gulf Shores, AL with our friends the Trimbles who we knew from our time together in Holland

* Anna and I flew to California for my cousins wedding and were able to see lots of family. Anna was on the dance floor from the moment the dancing started until the last song ended, she is a dancing fool:-)

This is Anna's Great Grandpa E

* We took a 9 day road trip to Pennsylvania and stayed with our dear friends the Hanna's, then spent some time in D.C. on our way home

* Ryans parents and our nephew Sam visited us for 10 days. We took a road trip to Gattlinburg, TN spent a few nights there and hung out at Dollywood!

* We drove to St. Louis, MO to see some friends and catch a Cardinals b-ball game

Somewhere in between all our travels, we did spend some time hanging out at the pool and playing with neighborhood friends. Here is what our trampoline looks like on most evenings, we love it!!

It was a great summer and we
were so sad
when all the fun had to end for school to

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brooks Graduates!

Last week was a milestone in Brooks life...he graduated from preschool!!!! We figure with this degree under his belt the possibilities are endless:-) He was so proud of himself and we enjoyed making this a special day for him.

Next year he will join big brother Bradey at Grace Christian Academy for half-day Kindergarten. They are both so excited to finally be at the same school.

Here are some pictures of our proud day!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1st Gotcha Day!

Celebrating Anna being with us for 1 year!

It was a great day of celebrating together as a family as well as with Amy's parents who flew in from California. We plan on making this a special day for Anna every year by focusing on her Russian heritage and talking about our memories of the day she was finally ours. We made a meal of traditional Russian Borsch soup and stuffed cabbage rolls (recipe courtesy of our Russian friend Nina!). We also set out various souvenir's and mementos from our time in Russia. I remember the day we took her from the orphanage as clearly as I remember the birth of the boys. Every moment was so special, a new beginning for all of us! It has been a tough year in many respects but also a wonderful year, I am so glad to be where we are today in our understanding of each other. Sometimes I wish we could go back in time, knowing what we know now of Anna's needs and personality and redo some of those days of trying to figure it all out. I am so thankful to be where we are!

Leaving the orphanage one year ago with our sweet baby

One year later, a complete family!

Anna with some of the Russian souvenirs

Playing with her Matryoshka doll (this is a special thing I normally don't let her have it because I am afraid we will loose some pieces!) She loves to play with this!

The day was even better celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa and of course a few presents!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easter Day

We had a wonderful Easter day this year! It brought back memories of last Easter when we were packing and preparing to leave on our second trip to bring Anna home. We are so thankful that this Easter she was home with us!

Here are some pictures of how we celebrated:

Our tradition is to make "Resurrection Cookies" the night before and read the account of Jesus sacrifice for us on the cross. In the morning the boys love to race downstairs and discover that the tomb is empty and Jesus has RISEN! Here they are EARLY in the morning eating their cookies.

Let the hunt begin!

Anna seemed to know just what to do, she was not going to let her brothers get all those eggs!

Bradey and Brooks were very sweet and left the easy ones for Anna to find while they hunted for the harder ones

We, along with many others, are concerned for the future of Russian adoptions because of the recent horrible act of one family. Please pray that the countries can come to an agreement and allow U.S. adoptions to continue in Russia. There are thousands of Russian children who have been adopted into loving families, it is heartbreaking to think that the door could be closed to so many of the children still waiting in orphanages. I can't help but think that what if this happened one year ago and we were not allowed to bring our daughter home? We are confident that God has a plan in all of this and He will prevail!
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families" Psalm 68:5-6